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Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) appears to be bouncing back into a competitive race with Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich (D), according to recent poll data that showed the longtime Senator either ahead of or within the margin of error of his opponent. It’s a boost that his campaign attributed in part to popular Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) being named to the Republicans’ national ticket.

Stevens led Begich, 46 percent to 44 percent, in a Moore Information poll paid for by the National Republican Senatorial Committee. The survey questioned 500 registered voters Sept. 2-3 — a few days after GOP presidential nominee John McCain named Palin to the ticket.

In a campaign memo to supporters, strategist David Carney praised the enthusiasm that he witnessed from Alaskans during the past two months, when the Department of Justice announced it had indicted Stevens. Alaska’s senior Senator is scheduled to begin trial this month for allegedly lying on his financial disclosure forms.

“Even before the announcement of Governor Palin as the Vice Presidential nominee, the campaign was energized, focused and raring to go, but now it has gone through the roof,” Carney wrote in the memo.

Meanwhile, an independent poll by Ivan Moore Research for state media outlets showed Stevens trailing Begich by about 3 points. Begich lead Stevens, 49 percent to 46 percent, with 3 percent undecided. The poll surveyed 500 likely voters Aug. 30-Sept. 2 and had a margin of error of 4.4 points.

In an Aug. 9-12 Ivan Moore poll with the same sample size, Begich led Stevens, 56 percent to 39 percent, with 3 percent undecided.

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